(For context, last year I had someone close to me die. He was a very sentimental person, with certain valuables to which he was very attached. He specified certain property to be liquidated in a certain way and the proceeds to be given directly to the poor. Since my job moved into the Loop in Chicago about the same time and I pass a dozen panhandlers a day, I have been doing it one dollar at a time in person, in a way in which I think he would approve. I have no problem doing as he asked in a way that I think he would do it himself. But I am not sure, on another level, that this is a good idea. I would not have chosen this as a means had he not said 'directly', or if he were not a strong proponent of going out and meeting people in person, and dealing with them directly.)
Kant seems like the kind of person who believes in institutions like tithing.
But to me, this seems to be an odd place where the two versions of the Categorical Imperative do not fit together well.
Surely, were I destitute, I think I would prefer to have someone help me out. And I don't see a problem with folks giving away money they have over and above their needs. I don't mind being begged from. And I would feel demeaned by the act of begging -- but it seems to be an autonomous choice.
At the same time, I fail to see how the person giving alms is not being used as a pure means. And I am not sure that the process does not do a certain moral damage to the person asking.
Does Kant (or some later commentator on him) reconcile this gap somewhere?